AAUP-UC Chapter Values Statement
As AAUP members, we believe that shared governance, academic freedom, and high standards for professional excellence are the hallmarks of great colleges and universities. We believe in the concept of tenure because it is linked with the concept of academic freedom: academic professionals who are burdened with the constant demand to reapply for their jobs every year or two years or three years cannot feel free to truly exercise their best judgments and talent. As faculty we hold ourselves to high standards, and believe that professional performance cannot be measured by simplistic metrics. We believe ongoing performance reviews that include both qualitative (e.g., peer reviews, supervisor performance reviews) and quantitative (e.g., student evaluations) assessments are necessary to judge professional excellence.
Institutions for higher education exist for the common good in a democratic society. The welfare and strength of the University and of a democratic society at large depend on free inquiry and its free expression. We therefore seek to empower students to become confident in their own abilities as learners, teachers, and researchers; and, to provide a forum for healthy public debate and exchange of ideas.
In order to secure a faculty body that can best perform research, teaching, and service to our communities, we believe that a sufficient degree of financial security is indispensable. It is only when higher education professionals have financial security that an institution of higher education can fulfill its obligations to its students and to society, by attracting men and women of talent and commitment.
We share a commitment to public higher education with a broad and diverse curriculum that is inclusive, affordable and available to all who can benefit from and want a college education. Quality higher education requires public investment because it benefits the entire society; an ever-increasing burden on students and their families is unfair, counterproductive, and contrary to the traditional American commitment to meritocracy.
We support unionization as the most effective means to protect our above-described values, and to promote higher education as an investment in our common future as a nation. We constantly strive to achieve the best practices for democratic unionism, including transparency in decision-making, open elections, and membership control of the direction of the union.